South Carolina Wing
Main Content


Early years.....

The South Carolina Wing was established and placed under the Command of Lt Col Dexter C. Martin 01 December 1941.

During WWII, coastal patrols were established along the eastern seaboard for the purpose of identifying any German U-boats that were preying on the shipping lands of the United States. On 23 May 1942, under the leadership of Lt. Col. Dexter C. Martin (SC Wing First Wing Commander), the Civil Air Patrol activated Coastal Patrol No. 8 on James Island near Charleston, South Carolina.


On December 1, 1941, Civil Air Patrol was established under the federal Office of Civil Defense per Presidential Administration Order 9. Looking back, it is humbling to know that the first CAP coastal patrol flight took off from Base No. 2 at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on March 5, 1942. By the end of September 1942, 21 CAP coastal patrol bases extended across 13 states from Maine to the Texas-Mexico border. These included Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North and South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.


According to Robert E. Neprud, in his book "Flying Minute Men" (1948), Neprud illustrates Coastal Patrol No. 8. "Set down amid the stubble of an old cotton field on James Island, near Charleston, Coastal Patrol No. 8 received substantial assistance from the South Carolina Aviation Commission. The base blossomed into one of the South's best when a batch of former CCC buildings was dismantled, moved in by truck over narrow dirt roads, and erected. Under the leadership of Major Jack R. Moore, of Portland, Oregon, the men at James Island later constructed and furnished an excellent recreation and classroom building" (Page 37).





3901 CAP Wing Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170


The current building that headquarters the South Carolina Civil Air Patrol is a far cry from the CCC building of the 1940s. Dedicated in 1981*, the operations building is located near the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) and continues to serve the people of South Carolina proudly.


*Officials at the time of dedication:

George O. Compton - Commander

William E. Hobson - Deputy Commander

Richard W. Riley - SC State Governor

South Carolina Aeronautics Commission

Joseph Wilder - Chairman

John W. Hamilton - Director

Design Collaborative Inc. - Architects/Columbia, South Carolina

M.B. Kahn - General Contractors/Columbia, South Carolina



As a Total Force partner and Auxiliary of the US Air Force, Civil Air Patrol is there to search for and find the lost, provide comfort and support in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. Its 63,000 members, 400 of which are part of the Delaware Wing selflessly devote their time, energy and expertise toward the well being of communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields thought aerospace/STEM education and helping shape future leaders through the CAP's cadet program.

Civil Air patrols missions for America are many, and today's adults and cadets perform their duties with the same vigilance as its founding members--- preserving CAP's 78-year legacy of service while maintaining its commitment to nearly 1,500 communities nationwide. 


© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.